From Housewives to Protesters: Mormons for the ERA: Mormons for ERA
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Mormons for ERA
MERA group photo taken in 1980
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, Collection P0144, Box 1, Folder 25.)
Mormons for the Equal Rights Amendment (MERA) formed in 1978 when several women living in Virginia banded together in support of the ERA. They wanted to provide a counter to the position of the LDS Church and demonstrate that Mormons could support the ERA. They were predominantly white, highly educated women who traveled the country organizing protests and helping local leaders establish their own smaller branches of MERA. The ERA became a divisive issue for Mormons, and many ERA supporters faced consequences for their activism. Some no longer felt like they belonged in the tight-knit LDS community, others lost their temple recommends and church callings or were even excommunicated.